Let’s Explore 8 Ways to Avoid Packing on the Pounds this Season

By Ricki McKenna, CN, DBC

Eating Habits, for many of us, were established as children, from about the age of 2.  Yes, it’s true, according to some experts on children’s nutrition… Think about it for a few moments; we might realize that many of us still shop, select and prepare foods just the way our parents and perhaps grandparents did. Can you hear Tevya (the Fiddler on the Roof) singing “Tradition”?  It always reminds me of holidays and how we celebrate and unconsciously carry on our family traditions, especially the food parts.

When I thought about this, I was a little skeptical at first.  That is until I opened my refrigerator and took a short tour around the shelves…and found that except for the vegetable bins and real butter, there was almost all the same stuff as in my mom’s refrigerator 50+ years ago!   She didn’t have coconut water, avocados or almond butter, but the jar of sauerkraut, lettuce, tomatoes and whole milk (it came in glass bottles then) pasta sauce, (we all love garlic and basil), eggs, cheese, and condiments on the door, graced her shelves when I was a kid.

How or have our attitudes, likes and dislikes changed?  When I was a kid my dad suggested I eat borscht (beets and sour cream), Yuk, I almost gagged and wouldn’t touch the stuff.  Yet, when I discovered fresh as opposed to canned beets and garlic and olive oil for cooking them – my attitude and taste buds changed for the better!   Where mom and dad had a couple of fruit trees in the back yard, I plant large pots of fresh herbs, tomatoes, arugula and other greens each summer on my deck and revel in the harvest!  I have to admit that I have more fresh and organic veggies than we had back then, but I’m a foodie and advocate eating that way and using butter rather than plastic- er- margarine. I love growing and eating fresh foods.

In the likes and dislikes department, aromas and sounds play important influential (emotional) parts in what we consume.  Especially at Holiday time, or in the present time of ‘lock in” and being home and close to the food source all day and night. At holiday time, the average American adult gains about 7-12 lbs!  It seems that about 69% of us overdo it without ‘restraint’. That leaves about 31% who are conscious or mindful (in the now) when it comes to say, a buffet table, maybe.

Another statistic I’ve seen is; people who sit closest to a buffet table eat more.  The aromas and sights come wafting off the table and delight your nose and anticipatory sense of taste and you return for just a teeny bite of whatever, three times!  Who me?  Did I do that?  Yes, you did and enjoyed every morsel.  Then comes the skinny skirt or great new leather belt you bought on sale last August for the holidays that seems to have shrunk in December. 

Ah ha, the unconscious has triumphed again. At times it appears that some buffet patrons think this is their last meal and have to eat everything in sight or they paid so much they will get their money’s worth…and damn the consequences.  And due to the situation we’ve been in, in the past year, 2020 has had a similar effect on many of us…

Since the start of ‘21, with many of us working from home, life may have brought us face to face with our refrigerators or pantry more often than ever before during a single day or evening. The accumulation of several extra pounds has happened to many of us, while changing work habits and in many cases, facing a stressful time at home. Emotions isolation, and the close proximity and easy availability of “something to eat”, has increased the chances that we’ll grab a bite of this or that more often, which has led to weight gain. It’s even acquired a name; the “quarantine 15”. Oh drat! Can you relate? I sure can.

Yes, it even happens to some of us who know better, but rummage around the kitchen looking for - who knows what - to satisfy not real hunger, but just boredom or relief of stress over something else happening or name it. Have you found yourself saying, ‘I’ll just eat the last bit of that burger’, or ‘can’t let that go to waste’ and it ends up on your waist!?  

Here are 8 practical suggestions for making it through these times with your eyes open and maybe some ‘won’t power’ will enter the kitchen with you...


  1. Think quality vs quantity. Ok, so it’s difficult when there are 12 choices in your refrigerator and all of them look desirable.
  2. Remember: you have choices- consume consciously.  

3.  Is it considered good etiquette to Zoom and chew at the same time?

4.   Are you upset or elated over a phone or zoom conversation you just had and angry or celebrating   (unconsciously) with food? 

5.   Think:  Is your eating an emotional response to a situation

6.   Can you walk in another room or outside for a few minutes and meditate - or just breathe?

7.   Be Picky, Picky, Picky about what and when you eat!!

8.    Remember:  if it’s NOT through your lips, it’s NOT on your hips!

If there are multiple choices in the kitchen, and desserts seem to be easier to grab than salads, perhaps it’s time to modify your shopping list to include more veggies and fruits as available snacks and grab-ables

Speaking of lists it is a good idea to make one when heading for the store, especially these days. Potentially, one of the most contaminated parts of grocery shopping is said to be the shopping cart handles, so please make sure you or the store employees have sanitized the carts before you grab on and roll that baby through the store. Having a list and sticking to it, can get you through the store and back home to safety quicker, sooner and safer.

Coach Ricki is offering a free 15-minute discovery call and a copy of her ebook; “YES, You CAN Eat Well and Eat Right, A Quick Guide to Organics and Stretching Your Food Dollar”.   Ricki CALL  970-618-7607     
Ricki McKenna, CN